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Great Neck Plaza hires firm to conduct affordable housing study

More affordable units will be available in a

More affordable units will be available in a 30-unit complex under construction on Grace Avenue in Great Neck. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Officials in Great Neck Plaza have hired a Manhattan-based planning organization to help them determine options for additional affordable housing units.

Mayor Jean Celender said the village is working with the Regional Plan Association to conduct an affordable housing study, which is expected to be submitted in a month and find ways village officials can change their housing code to entice more developers to offer affordable units. Celender said the study could also point out other potential areas in the village for future affordable units.

The end goal is “trying to help the people who are having difficulty staying here” because of the cost of rent, Celender said.

“The Plaza has historically had a range of housing and pricing choices that serve our diverse community,” Celender said. “We’re looking to increase that and continue that trend.”

Great Neck Plaza has affordable units in apartment complexes on Cutter Mill Road and Great Neck Road. More units will be available in a 30-unit complex under construction on nearby Grace Avenue.

The housing study would focus on a different part of the village, particularly along Stoner and Grace avenues, Clent and Gilchrest roads and Bond Street.

Celender said the association will present its findings during a public hearing in the near future. After that, the village board will look to adopt the association’s recommendations.

Finding or offering more affordable rental options is an issue under consideration in communities across Nassau and Suffolk counties. Housing experts and advocates have said high rents are hamstringing Long Islanders in their 20s and 30s.

“Over half of Nassau and Suffolk renters pay 30 percent or more of their income in rent, and almost a third are paying more than half their income in rent,” Pierina Ana Sanchez, the association’s New York director, told the Nassau County Legislature last month. “These housing costs have a huge effect on the ability of Long Island’s younger population to start careers and families.”

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said recently that he plans to propose new legislation that would allow buildings currently zoned as commercial to be converted into affordable housing units. The legislation is part of his larger plan to create 50 new affordable housing units over the next three years.

In Huntington, a plan is being studied to change the town’s affordable housing code to allow more lower-cost units downtown. Officials are hoping the change will attract more young and first-time home buyers and renters.


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